Last night, Leroy was exuberantly running around the house, showing off for my parents. He was flashing his big pit bull grin when he jumped onto Grandma and Grandpa’s bed, quickly lifted his leg, and peed on their duvet cover.
People of the world often anthromorphize these types of behaviors, either by saying something like, “Leroy was being spiteful because I made him take a nap in my bedroom”, or “Leroy felt so sorry after he peed on the bed. He knew he was wrong.”
Well, people of the world; I can promise you that Leroy made no connection between his earlier nap in my bedroom, nor knew that he had done something wrong. He was simply interrupted and ran away happily. WHYYYYY?? Why Leroy??
These are the moments I look at him for .3 seconds and say, “Mommy doesn’t love you anymore”, in the sweetest voice I can muster. Then he’ll do something so cute, it hurts my heart. Last night his move was cuddling on the couch between me and his Grandma, and propping his head up on her knee, making the best squishy face that ever did exist. Falling asleep on her with squinty eyed bliss, even Grandma forgot we were mad at the Pudding. All returns to normal soon after the incident.
But again! The following morning Leroy wants to push my buttons again! Leroy darling, I am a patient mamma, but you’re making me crazy! Though for Leroy, I had to accept that he was not trying to make me crazy. He was simply stressed out, overwhelmed, and unable to handle the situation. Between the two barking mongrels across the street that run the barrier of their electric fence, the strange collection of men in the backyard with the landscaping company, and the gaggle of seventeen year old kids playing basketball and roughhousing in the pool; Leroy was like WTF?! And I was like WTF?! These are the moments when I trust my dear friend Christine to tolerate my mental breakdown. I text her and say, “I’d like to return Leroy and exchange him for a better dog”. And she says, “No. You love him too much. And no one else wants him”. This of course, is all in jest. I wouldn’t give up Leroy if you pried him out of my cold, hard grasp. He is my true love and favorite creature on this planet. But still, we all are allowed to go over threshold every once in awhile 😉
It’s going to be a long summer…
I am constantly reminded to respect Leroy’s limits, as well as my own. So as I type this, Leroy is in his “Safe Place” of my bedroom. He was too stressed out watching the big kids play in the pool, plus he needed a nap after our exhilarating afternoon walk. And yaknow what? That is OK. I’d rather keep him safe and calm than push his limits. I am working to be the best guardian that I can. That includes knowing when and how to protect my dog from stress. And even though he drives me crazy, I love him more than words can express. So I am happy to do this for him.
On a lighter note, we do have an exciting announcement to make! Check back tomorrow for that 😉 And until then, deep breaths!
If you have any suggestions or force free training articles on how to stop territory marking, please send them my way! Also, please comment with any questions or topics you would like me to write about. 🙂